Seven more deaths have occurred and hundreds of others have fallen into ill health due to the heat wave that has covered Egypt over the past days, according to the latest Ministry of Health reports.
This is the first year Egypt has witnessed deaths resulting from heat stroke, which has raised suspicion about the emergence of a new plague.
However, the Ministry of Health has denied in its reports on the heat wave casualties toll any existence of plagues, and that the majority of deaths are senior citizens and citizens with chronic diseases.
Deaths over the past week included three psychiatric patients at Khanka Hospital in Qaliubiya governorate. The general assembly for mental health, an official observatory on psychiatric hospitals in Egypt, formed a committee to investigate the reasons behind their deaths, and the provision of an emergency medical team to support patients in need.
Ahmed Salah, one of the doctors involved, told Daily News Egypt about the committee’s visit to Khanka Hospital on Friday. Salah said they found out about more deaths, but most of them died due to complications from other diseases, such as blood poisoning and lungs inflammation.
He added that the assembly has announced new procedures to be followed by psychiatric hospitals during the ongoing heat wave, which is expected to remain until almost the end of August.
“It is very important to pay closer attention to psychiatric patients, as they are less aware of their feelings and needs, by constantly supporting them with needed medicines and drinks to avoid any possibility of dehydration. Some medicines could also have severe side effects,” Salah previously said.
The new procedures include providing enough ventilation inside patients’ dorms, making medicines that lower body temperature available, and providing patients with necessary liquids.
Meanwhile, many citizens are still working in harsh conditions such as street vendors, taxi drivers, construction labours and street cleaners, in addition to families who live in urban slums with no shelter.